Fashion power house, Blacktrash recently showcased their designs at the African Fashion Week Toronto 2015 (AFWT) where they also scooped the Fashion Beyond Boundaries Award. This was Blacktrash’s second award from the fashion week after they received the 2014 International Designers of the Year. African Fashion Week Toronto is a platform that recognises African designers and it was the first time that an African brand got such international recognition.
In an interview with Time Out, the elated co-founder of Blacktrash, Kutlwano Mogojwe said winning the award meant growth to their brand in both local and international platforms as well as market recognition. “The Fashion Beyond Boundaries Award is bigger than the one we won last year (International fashion Designer award). It is a much bigger achievement as it opens doors for the brand to trend and do business globally without any boundaries of the origins of our brand. Most of all, the award is a great achievement to the rest of Botswana’s fashion industry as it puts Botswana on a global map as a fashion force to be reckoned with and as a trend setter amongst other African countries,” he said.
The AFWT took place between the 13th and the 16th of August at the Drake Hotel in Toronto, Canada. The event marked the third annual instalment which showcased fashion inspired by African designers. The four-day event featured fashion designs from Canadian and African designers, who incorporated African-inspired designs in their work, as well as aspiring design students. Blacktrash was showcasing their collection dubbed the ‘Wrap around’. “It was a collection of wrap around ladies and men’s outfits including; wrap dresses and wrap men’s shirts. The collection was urban afro with a gothic influence, signature of zips details, both functional and decorative. We used a few jacquards fabrics to run away from your stereotyped description of an African look using African print fabrics. The style is a definition of an African aesthetic not by what is collectively interpreted as African but, by individual interpretation,” Mogojwe added.
The colours were monochromatic. They used monochromes of blacks and golds and a bit of deep hues of African basic colours which fused well together to give an edgy and sophisticated African look. In the women’s collection they used a few jacquards and textured heavy wool based fabrics infused with black laced fabrics to give the collection a feminine and sophisticated look and feel.
“We keep going back through the invitation of the AFWT organization and their partners, because of their interest in our work. Our organizations also share a similar goal to create a platform to grow and create an African community of designers, models and industry professionals who shape this unique experience and provide a progressive environment for them to promote their work. Through this, it also creates opportunities and help grow many fashion industries in Africa,” Mogojwe said.
He went on to say that they are determined to keep their relationship with African Fashion Week Toronto going as they are determined to become a global fashion design brand contributing to the local fashion industry and the economic development of Botswana.